Press Review

One issue dominates Tuesday's papers - the Czech government's decision to begin negotiations with BAE-Saab over the purchase of Gripen Supersonic fighter planes for the Czech Airforce.

The lead article in Mlada fronta Dnes asks if the Czech Republic really needs the fighter jets - and if it can afford them. The purchase of the planes will cost every Czech ten thousand crowns, says the daily - that's not much less than the average monthly salary in the Czech Republic.

People in the Czech Republic underestimate the risk of AIDS - they are informed about the disease but they don't act on that information, writes Lidove noviny. According to a survey of sexual behaviour, the Czechs are among the nations which pay the least attention to the dangers of HIV. Since 1985 there have been over 500 cases of HIV in the Czech Republic; 153 people have developed AIDS and 23 of them have died.

Most of Tuesday's dailies report that a postmortem has revealed that kickboxer Zdenek Vobejda died of swelling of the brain. The nineteen-year-old collapsed during a bout at the weekend and died soon afterwards. Mlada fronta Dnes points out that it was Zdenek Vobejda's first time in the ring, and he had been wearing a headguard. The Czech Society of Neurosurgeons has called for the banning of sports which can lead to brain damage.

"Priests train for fight against terrorism" reads a headline in Mlada fronta Dnes. It seems Jan Randa, a trainee priest in the north Moravian parish of Stara Ves, doesn't just want to offer his flock pastoral guidance - he is teaching teenage boys wearing masks to crawl under electrically charged wires and to swing down cables. "We won't catch those terrorists like that, men", Randa is quoted as shouting at the boys.

A 56-year-old man in the town of Stibro, kept his dead mother in her bed for over eight months following her death in order to keep getting her pension money, Prazske Slovo reports. The partially mummified woman was found by her grandson.

And finally, Blesk carries photos of Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea on a visit to Prague with friends. She is expected to stay in Prague for a couple of days, says the daily. Chelsea Clinton is snapped outside St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague's castle district, wrapped up in a winter coat. Blesk also carries a photo Czech footballer Tomas Rosicky in a Superman costume - if he's really a Superman how come he didn't score against the Belgians?